Senator Win Gatchalian hailed a new law that establishes the permanent validity of certificates of live birth, death and marriage.
Republic Act No. 11909 or the Permanent Validity of the Certificates of Live Birth, Death, and Marriage Act, which Gatchalian co-authored, covers live birth, death, and marriage certificates issued by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), its predecessor the National Statistics Office (NSO), and local civil registries. It also applies to certificates registered and issued by the Philippine Foreign Service Posts, and transmitted to the PSA.
“Dapat padaliin natin para sa ating mga kababayan ang pagkuha ng mga importanteng dokumento. Kaya naman isinulong nating magkaroon ng permanent validity ang ating mga birth, death, at marriage certificates upang hindi na mahirapan ang publiko sa pagkuha ng mga dokumentong ito,” said Gatchalian.
Regardless of the date of issuance, these certificates shall be recognized and accepted in all government or private transactions or services requiring their submission as proof of identity and legal status. These documents, however, should remain intact and readable, and should still visibly contain the authenticity and security features.
The permanent validity of marriage certificates is applicable only when the marriage has not been judicially decreed annulled or void as provided for under the Family Code of the Philippines or any subsequent amendatory law on marriage.
The law further provides that national government agencies and instrumentalities, government-owned and -controlled corporations, local government units, private companies, private and public educational institutions, and other non-government entities are prohibited from requiring the submission of another or newer certificates when a valid certificate can already be presented.
Gatchalian emphasized that this law would spare Filipinos from the additional expense and inconvenience of getting new copies of these documents.
To verify the authenticity of these certificates and reports of birth, death, or marriage, the law also mandates the PSA to coordinate with the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) to develop a civil registry database and establish a virtual viewing facility in local civil registries and in the Philippine Foreign Service Posts.